Review Summary: What you do with what you have when what you got is a lot
Patten weaves through genres with effortless ease, deliberately biting off more than he can chew before regurgitating it into an indescribably gorgeous mess of clacking beats, stabbing synths and rollicking basslines. Fascinating and overbearing in equal measure, GLAQJO XAACSO
pulls out very nearly all the stops over the course of its forty minute running time; such kid in a toy store mentality might get grating if it wasn’t so effortlessly done. Patten succeeds in mixing together the best of his influences in a kitchen where he is indubitably the master chef: the fact that for the most part the listener is only allowed to savour the delicious aural aroma for a few moments at a time makes this feast for the ears even more enticing. That this doesn’t eventually become infuriating is testament to his skill as a producer; the music itself may be unrestrained but the composition sure as hell isn’t.
is perhaps the most satisfying cut, if only because as the longest track on the album it allows Patten to leave sounds to develop rather than abandoning them to metamorphose and scuttle off in different directions. Indistinct vocals wallow sleepily like salamanders in the magma of smouldering synths whilst the drums, programmed with a feather light touch, drift like ash over the molten flow. The gradual percussive build up ultimately releases in an eruption of machine gun snares and a melodic tide so thick it eventually swallows the track whole. Highlighting (one of) the other aspects of Patten’s sound are the hazy vibes of Out the Coast
; a dreamy programmed miasma envelops the off kilter beats, causing them stagger drunkenly with arms outstretched through the intoxicating fog.
Few recent debuts have been more paradoxical than this offering from London based producer Patten. Incongruous yet somehow beautifully coherent, GLAQJO XAACSO
is a stand out album in a scene that has already had a lot of stunning releases and one or two near masterpieces. Most of the tracks are kept short and sweet, ensuring that the multiplicity of sounds remains manageable and never gets totally out of hand. When the dichotomous jigsaw pieces slot into place, the results are astounding; simply put, this is the kind of unrestrained music Actress would make if he were to feed his already mind bending tunes through a crack pipe in an underwater opium den.
Bass wunderkind Joy Orbison recently posted a video of the mysterious Darren Cunnigham performing at Sonar festival with the not so subtle tagline ‘Our Saviour’. So come all ye faithful and repeat after me:
There is no god but Actress and Patten is his prophet.